Paul Casson endorses Simon Fell

BARROW AFC CHAIRMAN PAUL CASSON GIVES ENDORSEMENT TO SIMON FELL TO BE BARROW’S NEXT MP

The Chairman of Barrow AFC, Paul Casson, has today given his backing to Simon Fell, the Conservative challenger to be Barrow’s next MP.

Paul Casson said:

“The coming years could be some of the most exciting in Barrow's proud history. The upcoming Successor program should provide the engine for robust economic growth. Who then may prove the best custodian of the areas’ good fortune, the party that passed the legislation that provided it, or the party who's leadership is pledged to its demise?

“My personal opinion is that for Barrow and Furness that answer is Simon Fell. In meetings with him he has outlined a vision for the area that very much matches my own. He has deep family roots in the area and I am impressed by his thoughtful, well crafted, locally inspired ideas. 

“It's time for a change.”

Simon Fell said:

“I’m very grateful to Paul for his endorsement. Paul’s approach - using his good fortune to help others and lift Barrow up - is one I would like to follow. Barrow AFC are ambassadors for Barrow and we should be rightly proud of them.

“Barrow and Furness is the most amazing place but it is neglected on the national stage as it doesn’t have a strong voice fighting for it. I will work constructively with others to get the improvements in our road, rail and broadband infrastructure that Barrow needs and to ensure that our essential public services are safe, secure and funded. 

"Barrow is an amazing place, and I want to promote the positive things it does to the world.”

Labour is Torpedoed

An article for Cumbria Pink following the announcement that there is to be - yet another - Labour leadership election... one that Jeremy Corbyn seems sure to win.

Less than a month ago we were dragged through a thoroughly miserable EU referendum campaign, all of us hoping that come June 23rd, that would be it for a while. 

But it wasn’t. 

The news that Britain voted to leave the EU quickly became a side-note to the political earthquake that followed.

But while the Conservatives united at breakneck speed behind Theresa May, Labour have taken the opportunity to wash their dirty linen in public.

The upcoming Labour leadership election is a battle for the party’s soul. But the fight is not just taking place in the gilded corridors of Westminster - it is just as real in Labour branches across Cumbria.

Just this month, Barrow’s MP John Woodcock overwhelmingly lost a vote of no confidence from the Ulverston Labour branch due to his continued attacks on Jeremy Corbyn. Alongside this, a ‘Red Labour’ group has sprouted in Barrow, and a number of Labour stalwarts and councillors have signed a petition for him to stand down, citing the fact that he has neglected his constituents in pursuit of a ‘crusade’ against his democratically elected leader.

Up and down the country, we’ve seen Labour MPs challenged in a similar way. 

You might ask why this matters to Barrow. 

It matters because the future of Labour and the future of Trident are intertwined.

Next Monday, the Conservatives have called a vote in parliament to approve the next stage of the Trident Successor programme. The vote will pass as the Conservatives have a majority at Westminster. 

But if Jeremy Corbyn wins the leadership election - and most pundits believe he will - he will have a refreshed mandate to change the party in his image. That means a harder left party that wants unilateral disarmament and for the Trident programme to be scrapped. 

What seemed impossible under Blair and Brown will become Labour party policy by 2020.

It will be suicide for Labour to fight the next general election in Barrow on a policy which will hurt up to 1 in 5 jobs in the area. 

Labour MPs who fought Mr Corbyn tooth and nail since his appointment may face deselection. As we’ve seen in Ulverston, there are already moves being made to soften the ground for this. 

MPs like John Woodcock had an opportunity to work with Jeremy Corbyn in good faith and find a compromise on important issues like this. Instead, they ran a guerrilla war against him and have used the Brexit vote to engineer a coup. It looks like they will lose.

John Woodcock has spent the last year fighting Mr Corbyn rather than speaking for Barrow. He protests that he did this to ‘save’ Labour. Instead he is now looking at the prospect of a split party, scrapping Trident being party policy, and deselection by his own party members. 

Bad judgement has torpedoed Labour and it looks set to sink John Woodcock in Barrow.